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theor

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About theor

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    Space Invader

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    Lyon, FR, EU
  1. The price will only go up with time, especially for the sixers, as they become harder to find and more collectible. They're more than a console, they're a piece of history. So yeah, good luck finding one for $25. In Europe a sixer typically sells for 60-90€, maybe around 50-60€ for the Vaders and Jr. It mostly depends how collectible it is, a boxed heavy-sixer will sell for a lot more, and that's their actual price. Now if you only want to play and don't really care about the console itself, buy an USB 2600 joystick and use an emulator, the experience will be the same and will only set you back $25.
  2. Also, back in1975, the state of the art in "game programs" was Pong and Tank (Combat), so that's what the 2600 was designed for. Games like Space Invaders wouldn't happen until three years later. When the NES arrived, pretty much everything had already been invented, they just had to throw some hardware to handle it. There's no possible comparison, and yet because of its RAM-less video hardware, the 2600 managed to successfully implement 4 way scrolling and features from games released 10 years later. I'm still in awe when I think about it.
  3. It was actually designed between 1975 and 1976. The first microprocessor, the 4004, had just been invented. Everything else used TTL logic. I don't think MrBeefy realizes what a prowess the 2600 was in the mid 70s. CPU, RAM, ROM, cartridge... we take that for granted, but the 2600 was the first machine to bring that on the table, 43 years ago. It was science fiction come true. http://www.computerhistory.org/revolution/computer-games/16/185/758 It was such a novel machine that not much off-the-shelve electronic existed to support it. The TIA was more or less the first graphic chip ever (although a few mainframes had some dedicated circuity) and had to be prototyped using wirewraped TTL on breadboards, as seen above. Science fiction come true. The 2600 started it all, everything about it is unique. The NES, meh... The engineers tossed together a few existing chips and voila. Nothing fancy about it.
  4. I don't think that's related to Atari in itself, but to what it represents in your subconscious. The longing to simpler times, to the innocence of the youth, when there was joy and love and excitement. And going back to playing those games is first and foremost a way to connect back to that safe space, and disconnect for a moment from the dullness of life.
  5. I edited in the meantime because my post sounded unintentionally rude, I didn't mean to say Atari was legacy but that it felt that way to some younger people. As for the T-shirt, well, I had an Atari wallpaper on my laptop two weeks ago and it got praised by a couple guys in my office, both in their forties. Younger people don't care or don't know what the fuss about Atari is about, they've only known Nintendo and Sony. It's basically the same for the C64 / ZX Spectrum / CPC 464 generation, they speak fondly of something that younger people haven't known.
  6. There's no way AC can leak inductively down the 7805. And no way to get 125V DC from a 9V/1A AC adapter. Did you mean 5V DC after the 7805 and 125V AC from the mains? If so, then the next step is to check the solders on the main board and reseat the 6507, RIOT and TIA. Use an antistatic wristband or at least periodically ground yourself before / while handling the circuit.
  7. -1: I think Atari feels legacy to most people, it's a brand for a gone age, like IBM or Oldsmobile. You get no respect for wearing those shirts, except by old timers. Then the hardware, as a whole, sucked TBH. Their was the huge and clunky 5200 and its awful controller, the "meh" 7800, the overpriced and "kitchen sink architecture" Jaguar... Nintendo and Sega were the new cool kids on the block and there was nothing that could be done against that. Also Atari never had an avatar like Nintendo and Sega had with Mario and Sonic. Its management was awful and the market saturated with trash games. -2: Personally I don't feel anything special for Atari, but neither do I for Nintendo actually. I'm just in love with the 2600 because it's so unique.
  8. Born in 84, my first computer was a 8086 MSDOS 3.0 PC in 1989, and my first console was the SNES in 93. I'm passionate about retro computing, computing history, and I also love simple machines and languages. I've built a simple stack TTL computer, played with a lot of logic circuits in Logisim, fantasize about owning a PDP11, have tried Unix systems all the way up to the very earliest versions, wrote programs in Forth, LISP, Haskell, you name it... But there's one machine that stands out among this crowd, and it's the 2600. I am absolutely fascinated by this piece of hardware, there are simply so many unique things about it. It's the most retro hardware one can gets his hands on. It's the console that started everything. It's a mere CPU-in-a-box that will make most programmers flip the table and give up on it because it's so hellish to program, but achieving anything useful with it is a technical award in itself. It's a fully documented machine that can be fully understood by a single mind down to the transistor. It has no framebuffer, 128 bytes of memory, yet it can run a game like Solaris. Some of its games like Boulder Dash or Draconian are technical wonders like exist on no other platform. No other console takes so much craftmanship, and no other console runs such über optimized assembly jewels. It's simplistic hardware, yet it takes mastery to tame this beast, and that makes it captivating. Finally its game have a very particular aesthetic that brings back memories from my early childhood. Blocky graphics on a black background, scrolling rainbows... there's something about those that I just like. It's the console of the Space Age, the console of Shoot'em up like the SNES was the console of RPGs. I will not play the latest AAA titles because they leave me unimpressed and I just don't have time anymore for all the storytelling, but I was in awe when I first tried Draconian, Star Castle Arcade, Super Cobra Arcade or Boulder Dash, because man, it's just unbelievable to write code that's so tight. I enjoy the craftmanship and the technical prowess more than the game. So the Atari 2600 was in my book since 2003 until I finally made the step to get myself one and restore it. I don't play much but it's sitting in my living room in all its glory. And heck, it looks a hell of a lot better that a PDP11! As for playing, Stella stays on my laptop whenever I feel like trying a new homebrew or playing a classic.
  9. To start with the basics, what's the voltage in front and after the voltage regulator? You should have 9.x Volts in front , and 5.0 +-0.2 Volt after.
  10. Pliers and a towel on top of them to avoid any damage to the fragile threading. Be prudent when you pull them off, the levers are just plastic, you wouldn't want to break one pulling too hard. Gentle, clockwise and anti-clockwise motions work best.
  11. The board makes an electrical contact with the PCB ground so I didn't want to keep the contact loose or mess with it. The good news is it only took little sanding to insert the cartridge effortlessly. There was just one tight spot, near the top left corner, and 10mn of sanding later the friction was completely gone! Unfortunately I still have an issue with those red label carts: they won't open the flap soon enough, so the connector gets blocked by the flap instead of inserting. Inserting the cart diagonally isn't possible when the aluminum housing is mounted, so I have to keep the flap open with a cable tie before inserting the cart. No problem with the black label carts. Apparently there seems to be a dimensional tolerance issue with the sixers and red label carts.
  12. I didn't remove the chips completely, just enough to lift them up and put them back to scrub away some potential corrosion. Besides I doubt I would be getting a picture if I had put it the wrong way. I'm leaning toward the LCD monitor, it probably doesn't like the VCS and won't sync with it. I don't want to mod my VCS, so unless someone knows an alternative I'll probably need to buy a small CRT TV, or at least a proper LCD TV (not a computer monitor with an RF adapter). I was hoping to save space but probably expected too much from the RF adapter. Here's the adapter in action, it sounded like a nice idea: https://nintendosegajapan.com/2015/10/22/how-to-play-ntsc-j-rf-only-consoles-on-pal-televisions/
  13. Sure, I used the "Orange foncé" tint, reference PC1MC. 4€ on Amazon. By the way I moved to the electronic part and cleaned the solder flux off the two PCBs. It's now in a really pristine state, both inside and outside. Here's the switch part with the new voltage regulator. I used gold thermal grease to replace the old paste which didn't age well. The TIA PCB also looks a lot better and hopefully will withstand the years better now:
  14. Thanks for your answers, that's a good thing to hear about the PCB. Good news about the flux also, I feared it was this dreaded glue. So I gave it another try and realized the cartridge wasn't pushed all the way down the connector. When I did, I got some kind of picture, so my VCS is fine. Hooray! Yet this surprised me as I really applied a lot of force on the cartridge earlier, and when I reassembled everything, I realized the cartridge, Solaris, won't even go half way down the slot! I almost had to pry on the console to take it out and the cart edges have been damaged a little... I guess I'll have to sand the aluminum slot a little, it's way too tight a fit. So now here's what I get : Some possibilities now include a faulty RF cable, or an NTSC game since I have a PAL VCS. There's no clue on the label whether its NTSC or PAL. It may also come from this MTVBox RF to VGA adapter device. It would make sense because as I fiddled with the settings, I got a black and white picture at some point (and some noise coming out of the speakers). I barely had the time to take a screenshot: I think I'll have to try with another game and with an actual CRT monitor. But at least my VCS is fine, I'm relieved.
  15. Hi everyone, I've purchased and restored a light sixer, but I think it may be broken. Here's the kind of output I get when I turn it on, either with a cartridge or not: - black screen with a static white bar on the left - wriggling white bars - jumping and wriggling rainbow lines (with sound) I can record a short video if that would help. Of course I've cleaned the cartridge and the connector before going further. When I received it, the motherboard was covered with brown glue residues, typical of the late 70s and early 80s PCBs. I understand this glue turns conductive and corrosive with time and indeed some tracks were wrinkled, so I carefully removed the glue with white gas (naphta), isopropyl alcohol and an old toothbrush. The PCB looks somewhat OK now without the glue, expect for those wrinkled tracks and the tarnished look: Next I replaced the 7805 voltage regulator, lifted and reseated the RIOT, 6507 and TIA. The chips all run somewhat hot, the RIOT even uncomfortably hot after a while, although I can't conclude yet it's dead. Also I don't have a VCR or a CRT TV, I'm using an RF to VGA adapter (which might be a problem itself, although unlikely I think). Hopefully it's not beyond repair. How should I diagnose the problem from there? Thank you
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